Source: : Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No.7 – The Beginnings of Deviation
Firstly: That Shirk began during the time of Noah ‘alayhis-salaam, due to the excessive love and veneration that the people had for certain dead pious Muslim.
Imaam al-Qurtubee (d.654H) – rahimahullaah – said: “The initial images that were made of these righteous men were done in order that the people could be reminded about their righteousness and so strive in being righteous; as they strove. So they worshipped Allaah by the graves of these righteous men. Then a people came after them who forgot the intent of their fore-fathers’ actions. So Shaytaan whispered to them saying: Your fore-fathers used to worship these images and held them in great veneration.”13
Secondly: “That Shaytaan is eager to misguide mankind and to plot against them. He comes from the angle of exploiting man’s emotions, and lures them into doing acts that are (apparently) good. Thus, when Shaytaan saw amongst the people of Noah their great love and esteem for the righteous, he tricked them into going beyond the bounds in their love, and he got them to make and place statues of these dead pious Muslims in their places of gatherings. The objective of this was to make them swerve away from the right path.
Thirdly: That Shaytaan does not only observe the present generation, and seek to deceive only them; but he also wishes to misguide and deceive future generations. Thus, when he could not plunge the present generation, from the people of Noah, into Shirk, he eagerly awaited the next generation’s arrival, in order that he could misguide them.”14
Fourthly: That the worshipping of dead pious Muslims continues to be practiced amongst the Ummah even today. The difference being is that the names have changed. Thus, instead of worshipping Wadd, or Yaghooth, or Ya’ooq; people have instead directed the same practices of Shirk – like supplicating directly to the pious dead, and taking them as intercessors between them and Allaah – to others; such as to Shaykh ‘Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee in Iraaq, or al-Baydaawee in Eygypt, or Chishtee in India, etc. However, changing the name of a thing, does not change its reality.